31 August 2011

Design Sponge at Home by Grace Bonney

New Yorker Grace Bonney created her beautiful decor website Design*Sponge "as an antidote to the fussy shelter magazines of her mother's generation" and now she is set to release her first book Design*Sponge at Home. One of the very first blogs I EVER bookmarked was Design*Sponge (click on over and you'll see why), so it gives me great pleasure to have a copy of Design*Sponge at Home in my hot little hands, ready to share with you all! Packed with over 600 "pretty pictures" (Grace's words), this design compendium contains peeks of 75 real-life interiors (including the homes of three Aussies!), as well as more than 100 projects (with detailed instructions). And it's no wonder I loved it as much as I did - Bonney has worked as a contributing editor at publications like Domino and House & Garden.

(above) Grace explains that "judging a book (especially a design book) by its cover is sometimes inevitable. So trying to come up with a cover that was beautiful, eye-catching, current-yet-timeless and still managed to encompass all of the content (home tours, DIYs, before & afters and flowers) felt like a Herculean task." And I think she succeeded - It's a beautiful looking cover. Which is why I found it so insightful to see the covers that didn't make the cut! Click to read "Design*Sponge at Home: The Evolution of a Book Cover". The gold leaf cover illustration is by Julia Rothman. Book design by ALSO.

(above) Creating chapter openers for the book (all of which were photographed by William Brinson) involved "buying every darn ribbon M&J Trimming had in stock. I’m convinced the store thought we were punking them by buying that much ribbon!" says Grace. So what's inside?

  • 400 pages of inspiration + practical skills to help craft your dream home
  • 65+ home tours (with history + decorating tip sidebars)
  • 50 DIY projects (organized by difficulty, price and time)
  • An illustrated DIY workshop to teach you all the basics, from upholstery to rewiring
  • 50 Before & After projects (with tips for identifying valuable furniture)
  • A floral workshop to teach you the basics of arranging + 20 example arrangements
  • A huge resource section full of our favorite places to shop, order and salvage

(above) I really enjoyed seeing the homes of some of my favourite bloggers in the book, including Morgan of The Brick House.

(above) Davy Newkirk worked with (interior-designer-to-the-stars) Kishani Perera to achieve a well-traveled aesthetic in his LA home.

(above) Super stylist Marcus Hay (I worked with him in magazine land!) is now New York-based and his gorgeous pad made the cut! Visit his blog Fluff 'n' Stuff.

(above) The Lady of the moment - Grace shows us around her Brooklyn, NY apartment which she shares with her husband Aaron and their two cats, Turk and Ms. Jackson. She's shown sitting on her infamous bed, self-upholstered with a stunning red Mexican Suzani!

(above) If you haven't familiarized yourself with Dooce yet, hop to it - the brilliant Dooce creator/writer/mum Heather Armstrong's Salt Lake City, Utah home is also featured.

(above) The Resources Guide on pages 372-379 is so brilliant it's got me thinking about relocating to the USA (just kidding Mum!)...

(above and below) Grace recently revealed that "one of the things that drives me nuts about fancy coffee table books is that they seem to give you all these gorgeous images and no way to interpret them on your own time and budget. So we decided to pull great ideas from the homes in the book, along with other great projects from our editors and readers, to create the second chapter- which is comprised of 50 DIY projects. All of the projects are arranged by difficulty (starting from easy to hard) and list price, time required and variation ideas." 

(below) I just adore this image, taken from Design Editor/Consultant Moniker Biegler Eyers's London home.

Grace will soon embark on a whirlwind book signing tour of the US and Canada (click here for dates), and we'll even see her here in Australia (Sydney and Melbourne) in 2012! After "two long years of writing, shooting, editing and planning", Design*Sponge at Home (rrp$49.95) hits stores here in Australia tomorrow! PS The delightful trailer below will give you a quick tour through all 400 pages of Design*Sponge at Home. Happy reading, Tonic-ettes!


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